I launched my first book in 2015 with the intention of using it to get publicity for my coaching business.
I’d seen the halo effect in action some years earlier when I chose to work with a naturopath whose office was a good 90 minute drive from where I lived. I’ve been asked more than once why on earth I signed up for 12 months worth of fortnightly visits with a naturopath who was so hard to get to. My answer goes right to the crux of how the halo effect works. The simple truth is that I signed up with this naturopath because, and only because she had published a book on ageing well which was my main concern at the time.
I might just add that to this day I’ve never even seen this book, let alone read it. It was the fact that I knew it existed that influenced me to go out of my way to sign up with this particular naturopath over others. The book essentially built a bridge between us. She became my go-to person because I saw her as an expert, and what’s more I trusted her because she was a published author. Qualities like trustworthiness and the like may or may not stack up under scrutiny, but the halo effect works at an unconscious level and hijacks any tendency to apply the kind of scrutiny we might otherwise call on to weigh things up when we’re forming opinions and/or making decisions.
The point is that my experience back in 2009 embedded the idea of writing a book to attract people into my coaching business in the way that my naturopath was attracting people into hers. So early in 2010 I purchased an online program that was meant to make writing a book easy. In the end it wasn’t nearly as easy as the marketing for the program made it sound like it was going to be, and therein began a journey that led me to develop a book writing wing in my business.
When I look back over what went on for me in 2010 from the perspective of someone who finally published a book after five years and some $30,000 investment in a number of courses and one on one coaching, I can see that among other things it was an extended lesson in mindset training. What it also did in the end was drive home the importance of getting clear on what the barriers to achieving something are before investing in solutions that may or may get you to where you want to be.
I share this background information with you because it brings into stark relief the classic question of return on investment that businesses need to keep top of mind if they’re going to survive. I made my investment work in a number of ways, including leveraging the fact that I was a published author to get publicity for my business.
All of the publicity and many of the other opportunities that came my way during the last half of 2015 and the first half of 2016 came to me via a powerful free online resource called SourceBottle. SourceBottle’s main aim is to connect journalists and bloggers with ‘sources’ like me. By far and away the biggest opportunity I fielded came about when I answered a call-out for someone to talk about their experience of menopause. I answered that call-out by saying – “I recently wrote a book on menopause, and I would love to talk to you about it for your article”. Imagine how I felt a couple of weeks later when I opened my inbox to find an email saying – “Apologies for the short notice Jane, but would you be available for a photo shoot and an interview on Thursday morning?” This was signed by Clare Weaver on behalf of the Australian Women’s Weekly, and was like a dream come true for me. There’s simply no better vehicle than the Australian Women’s Weekly for me to get exposure to the demographic I serve via the wellness wing of my coaching business.
What eventuated from that correspondence was a solid chunk of coverage in the April 2016 issue of the magazine. You can see a copy of the page I was profiled in above. The article was based around the experiences of two authors who had published books on menopause. My inclusion in it did nothing short of creating a halo effect over the halo effect of being a published author, because not only was I benefiting from being in the article per se, but the fact that I was given equal footing with someone like Jean Kitson who has been building her profile as a comedian and speaker for decades was a major coup. This is the kind of expert positioning money just can’t buy, and it gave me all of the proof I would ever need to believe in the effectiveness of writing a book to increase credibility and authority, and to open up opportunities to get publicity.
So I’d urge you to do two things if you want to boost your chances of tapping into the vein of free publicity that’s available through SourceBottle.